Joe DeLoach reporting
For this year’s installment of our annual spring wildflower hike, we chose the Appalachian Trail from Highway 19E to Doll Flats. Our record of 40 species was found years ago between 19E and the edge of Hump Mountain, and we might have matched that if we’d gone further this year, finding 31 varieties without going beyond Doll Flats. Showy orchis and fringed phacelia highlighted the lower elevations, moving into erect trilliums and wood anemones in the middle, with early spring trout lilies hanging on at Doll Flats. The flower of the day was jack in the pulpit; we saw some great specimens and a lot of them in the upper half of the hike. We also saw evidence of much hard work by dedicated TEHCC volunteers who had cut and peeled locust logs, some quite large, and stakes for Trail rehabilitation with HardCore the following weekend. Doll Flats makes a great place for a siesta on a warm sunny day. Joe lost his bet with Kim that we would find more species of flowers than we would see Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, and it wasn’t close. Next year we’ll shoot for earlier in the spring and the different varieties it brings. Hikers for this outing were Serita Blankenbecler, Phyllis Cairnes, Denise Hardin, Kim Peters, and Joe DeLoach.